Consequences of toilet closures

Hastings Observer letters
Hastings Observer letters

Flushed with pride, Hastings Borough Council (HBC) seems yet again unable to heed the Law of Unintended Consequences (LUC), even when Observer articles and individual correspondents tell them to think before acting.

How can it be an ‘economy’ to close public lavatories in a town that lives largely on tourist income? Ore Village, with its public toilets fronting the A259 clearly visible to travellers heading west from Dover, is a welcome beacon of civilization to drivers. Once parked, these visitors often also shop in Ore. Therefore a truly beneficial facility for locals and visitors alike.

From Ore, the nearest public WCs are on the seafront and... Harold Place. These classical-style toilets caused many comments when they opened of the ‘Up Pompeii’ kind, but quickly proved how needed they are there. What will they become if shut? The ninth charity shop? The seventh coffee shop? The umpteenth empty premises?

HBC ignored the ‘LUC’ some years ago by ceasing to offer free collection of two large items a year per household. The result? Hugely increased fly tipping, the clearing of which costs taxpayers a fortune.

Cannot HBC see that closing public loos will simply increase the ‘fly tipping’ of human waste in walkways and entrances? Then HBC will have to employ highly specialised contractors to clear up the mess. Surely a greater expense than a WC maintenance contract?

And social media will have a field day: Hastings, town of Blue Flag Beaches and Red Flag Warning Streets.

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